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Split Solar Hot Water Systems
A split system has the collector panels on the roof and the storage tank is located at ground level usually where your current tank is.

A small electrical pump is necessary to circulate the water between the tank and the collectors and is regulated by a controller that measures the temperature difference between the water temperature in the collectors and the tank. However, the energy for the pump is offset in reduced heat losses, as the tank is more protected than a roof mounted system.

If the ideal location for the collector panels is a long distance from the location of the existing hot water tank, a split system will result in better water usage. The reason is that the hot water is stored closer to where it is used. That means you do not have to wait for the hot water to reach your shower.

An added advantage is the in-built frost support. If the temperature falls below 5 degrees C the pump automatically starts circulating the water. This sends warmer water back up to the panels so that the chances of it freezing are reduced.

The disadvantage of this system is it is slightly more expensive to buy and install.  As with the Roof top systems, the tank and panels are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty of between 5 and 10 years depending on the brand.  Installation and other parts are warranted for 12 months.
Split Solar Hot Water System